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Aesch. Prom. 152 - Imperf. in Purpose Cl. ?

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Aesch. Prom. 152 - Imperf. in Purpose Cl. ?

Postby Singidunensis » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:58 pm

Hi, this is my first topic here, so please correct me if I broke any rules. It's still the fastest way to learn.

My question is about a strange use of imperfect in a purpose (?) clause. It is from Prometheus Bound, Line 152

εἰ γάρ μ᾽ ὑπὸ γῆν νέρθεν θ᾽ Ἅιδου ... ἧκεν,
... ὡς μήτε θεὸς μήτε τις ἄλλος τοῖσδ᾽ ἐπεγήθει.

translated as: "Oh if only he had hurled me below the earth, ... so that neither god nor any other might have gloated over this agony I feel!"

Now, the first part is aorist which is, I believe, because of contrafactual condition in the past, (although I'm not even entirely sure about this). But, why is the imperfect (ἐπεγήθει) used in the second part? Is it 1) the apodosis of a contrafactual conditional, or 2) the final clause of an unfulfilled condition, as in Godwin 216(3), ...or something else? I understand what is meant by the usage, but I just want a clarification, and I may have another question after this.

(What should I do if my question sounds too trivial for a new topic? Should I bump an earlier related topic instead of starting my own? Just like to clear this up.)

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Aesch. Prom. 152 - Imperf. in Purpose Cl. ?

Postby modus.irrealis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:50 pm

The first part is the εἰ γάρ construction used for wishes with the aorist indicating an unfulfilled wish about the past, so ἐπεγήθει is an example of 2). I wonder if the imperfect might better be translated by "might gloat" and refer to a present situation. Both past or present reference are possible so it would be context that decides.

My experience on these forums has been that they are very laid back, and there are lots of topics devoted to single questions and lots of topic filled with various questions, so it's up to you where you post. I think, though, until you reach ten posts, your posts will take a while to show up.
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Re: Aesch. Prom. 152 - Imperf. in Purpose Cl. ?

Postby Singidunensis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:03 pm

Thanks. It took a while to appear so I thought they dumped it. :D

OK, I understand now. You are saying: The first part is a wish as well, and about the past , as in Goodwin Syntax of moods #83, I believe. And the second part is an unfulfilled result, as in Goodwin #49 (2). The imperfect is probably because it refers to present more than to past.
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